Ruling Party Drops Tbong Khmum Incitement Complaint Against Kong Korm 

2 min read
A screenshot of Kong Korm during a Jan. 7 speech in Tbong Khmum, from the Candlelight Party’s Facebook page.
[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Female"]

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party dropped a second lawsuit against former senior Candlelight adviser Kong Korm, days after he quit the opposition party.

The CPP’s Tbong Khmum office had filed an incitement complaint against Korm after he made comments alluding to Vietnamese influence in the founding of the ruling party. The comments angered Prime Minister Hun Sen, who initiated separate legal proceedings against Korm for allegedly living on Foreign Ministry land — provoking Korm and his family to leave the land.

While the Foreign Ministry case was dropped a few weeks ago, the ruling party withdrew its incitement complaint, Korm said on Monday. The former Candlelight adviser said he was expected to appear at the Tbong Khmum Provincial Court on Monday but was informed by court officials Sunday night that the complaint had been dropped.

Korm said he was thankful to CPP leaders and Hun Sen for dropping the case. 

“I believe that there was intervention from the upper levels of the Cambodian People’s Party, and therefore thanks the President Samdech Techo of the Cambodian People’s Party for deciding to withdraw the complaint in Tbong Khmum,” he said.

Last week, Korm had released a letter thanking Hun Sen for his forgiveness and announced he would be resigning from the opposition party. He also admitted to an unspecified “mistake,” but did not provide any details.

This seemed to work for Korm as a letter to the court withdrawing the complaint was filed on Sunday, February 5, where the ruling party said Korm had admitted his guilt and publicly apologized to Hun Sen.

Korm said he was currently living at a different location and was still upset he had to leave.

“We are still sad,” he said. “It is impossible not to want to have wealth and want to have property for the family.”

Candlelight spokesperson Kimsour Phirith said the outcome was good for the Kong family.

“I can only express my gratitude for the withdrawal of the complaint and support how we can resolve it by calling it mutual understanding because it is good,” he said.

Vann Chanlot, legal researcher and observer, said using the judiciary to intimidate political opponents was counterproductive for the country and used a Khmer proverb to illustrate his point. 

“The water rises, the fish eats ants. The water falls, the ants eat the fish,” he said. 

“In this kind of political form, it does not bring benefits to national unity or internal unity. It only increases anger and revenge,” he said.

VOD. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission. VOD is not responsible for any infringement in all forms. The perpetrator may be subject to legal action under Cambodian laws and related laws.